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Can Probiotics Help You Lose Weight?

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Most people would agree that weight gain is typically a product of lifestyle. But what most people don’t realize is that in many cases, a is the hidden culprit underlying weight gain. What causes such an imbalance? Stress, environmental toxins and a diet high in sugar and processed foods can all play a role in altering the delicate balance of “good” and “bad” microorganisms that exists within the body.

Your digestive tract is lined with beneficial bacteria and yeasts, also known as probiotics, which are there to keep your digestive and immune systems in balance. And, as research is beginning to show, these beneficial microorganisms also play many other important roles in maintaining health. In fact, number of recent studies have shown that may play a role in keeping your weight in a healthy range.

A recent study adds to the growing body of research which shows how probiotics can help you lose weight. Japanese researchers found that daily probiotic supplements may help promote in people with obese tendencies, according to findings published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers recruited 87 overweight people to participate in their multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. The participants were randomly assigned to receive 200 grams per day of fermented milk with or without added probiotics (a Lactobacillus strain known as L. gasseri) for 12 weeks.

At the end of the study, significant decreases were observed in probiotics group in body weight, body mass index and waist circumference. Daily consumption of probiotics was associated with a 4.6% reduction in abdominal fat, and a 3.3% reduction in subcutaneous fat. No significant reductions were observed in the control group, however. (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2010, Volume 64, Number 6, 636-643.)


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Article updated on: July 12th, 2010

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6 Responses to “ Can Probiotics Help You Lose Weight? ”

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  3. Lissa on July 14, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    This is a fascinating article. I have recently begun adding more probiotics and fermented foods to my diet not because of the proported weight loss benefits, but because of the overall health benefits in supporting the immune and digestive systems. Best of all, it's so easy to include whole food probiotics to the diet from kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, yogurt and more. My question is, however, doesn't fermented milk have probiotics too, just to a lesser degree than the fermented milk that had additional probiotics added to it? I wonder if the control group who drank just fermented milk notice a decrease in weight or even an increase in good digestion and their immune system in the long run? Very interesting study.

    • Mina on July 14, 2010 at 9:05 PM

      That's a good question. It was a relatively short study, and the researchers measured only parameters associated with weight loss — they weren't looking for improvements in digestion or immunity.

  4. Naneth t Dela Cruz on April 6, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    If taking probiotic daily do you have to be exercising.

  5. Naneth t Dela Cruz on April 6, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    Do you have to be exercising I’f your taking probiotic?